NEW DAY FOR BUSINESS AT SUNSET PARK

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Two vacant government warehouses in Sunset Park could provide homes for several dozen manufacturing companies being displaced from other parts of the city and retain thousands of blue-collar jobs, according to a new report from the Center for an Urban Future.

The report finds that redeveloping the two buildings – Federal Building #2 at Third Avenue and 30th Street and Building A at the Brooklyn Army Terminal – would create 2 million square feet of new industrial space, a boon for manufacturers at a time when so many face a space crunch due to zoning changes, condo conversions and escalating rents.

This reuse could actually have a larger impact on the city’s economy than high-profile projects – like new stadiums for the Yankees, Nets and Mets – that rely heavily on public subsidies and create fewer permanent jobs.

While the study praises the city for its preliminary support of the projects, particularly its backing of a community proposal that seeks to maximize manufacturing space, it stresses that the plans are far from final and calls for the administration to remain committed to this unique opportunity, as well as the larger goal of creating more affordable manufacturing space throughout the five boroughs.

The buildings had housed activities of various federal departments, from the FDA to the Army and Navy to the Postal Service. Portions of the space have been vacant for anywhere from five years to several decades. For the full report, “The Final Frontier for Manufacturers,” go to: www.nycfuture.org.
[06/19/06]